Last July 4, Odd Future member and R&B artist Frank Ocean published an intimate Tumblr post explaining that his first love was a man. The declaration was initially meant to be included in the liner notes to his debut major-label album, "Channel Orange," which came out a week later, but Ocean chose to pre-emptively announce it after a British journalist speculated about the use of the pronoun "he" in love songs like "Bad Religion" and "Forrest Gump."
"The night I posted it, I cried like a fucking baby," Ocean told GQ in December. "It was like all the frequency just clicked to a change in my head." (To be clear, Ocean has never publicly defined his sexuality as gay, bisexual or anything else.) Subsequently, "Channel Orange" was lauded as a major musical accomplishment, earning album of the year at the Soul Train Awards and Grammy nods for album and record of the year, best new artist and best urban contemporary album, the lattermost of which he won-a milestone as the first openly non-straight male in hip-hop and R&B to reach mainstream acclaim.
While Ocean's confession garnered support from across the industry--from Beyonce and Jay-Z to executives Russell Simmons and Joie Manda--his accolades proved that the music spoke for itself.